How to Hang a Picture on a Concrete Wall

You just finished painting the concrete walls in your basement, and now it’s time to add some art to the walls. Is it possible to hang a poster or framed collectible in the space?

You will need a hanger designed to work on concrete like a masonry wall anchor, hardwall hanger, or an adhesive strip. Each type of hanger is designed to hold up to a specified weight. Once the hangers are securely fastened to the concrete wall, you can hang your picture just as in any other part of the house.

Cool! But which type of hanger is right for your framed print and are there any special tools you will need for the job?

Selecting the Correct Hanger to Hold the Weight of Your Art on Concrete Walls

Before you grab a packet of adhesive hangers or your old electric drill, you need to know that your picture will stay up on the wall when you are done. You have three basic options when shopping for hangars that work with concrete walls: hardwall hangers, masonry anchors, and adhesive strips.

Hardwall Hangers

These formed plastic hangers come with three or four nails or pins attached and are ready to be pounded into place. The hangers are designed to hold between 10 and 25 pounds. You should use two of them to ensure a secure and level installation. These are a great option for hanging framed works with glass or collectible display shelves.

Masonry Anchors with Screws

For shelving that will support up to 100 pounds or more of your favorite books, masonry anchors guarantee a near bulletproof installation. It is also a great choice for that oversized portrait created by a named artist. Your picture will not come down until the wall does. You will need some basic tools and screws that match the size of the anchors. Check the packaging for the weight rating for the anchors and screws.

Adhesive Strips

 When mounting a lightweight poster, flag, or print in an inexpensive frame, the popular adhesive strip hooks are a worthwhile option. The concrete surface must be clean and fairly flat with minimal texture in the concrete. The adhesive strip will come with a weight rating. If your concrete wall is in a basement, summer heat and humidity can cause the strips to fall off the walls. This is the best choice for temporary decorations and very light pictures. 

Using the Right Tools for a Fast and Secure Fix

When preparing to install the hangers for your picture, make sure that you have all the proper tools on hand. A safe and secure stepladder should be at the top of the list so that you are not wielding a power tool while you are off-balance.

If you are installing wall anchors, you will need a masonry bit for your power or cordless drill. It may be marked as a carbide-tipped bit at the home improvement center. This bit is much harder than a standard bit and will not dull as quickly while drilling through concrete.

Once you decide on the size wall anchor and screw needed to hang your picture, you must match the bit size to the anchor. Otherwise, the anchor will not fit into the drilled hole or simply fall out of the hole.

You will need a screwdriver with a matching flat or Phillip’s head to install the screw into the wall anchor. You don’t need a power driver, but it will save you some time.

A standard claw hammer will work well with hardwall hangers.

Adhesive strips recommend cleaning the concrete surface and drying it before applying the strips.

You also need a level and measuring tape.

The Finishing Touches for a Professional Appearance 

Now that you have all the supplies selected, it’s time to install your picture on the concrete wall. Decide just how high you want your picture to sit on the wall. Professionals suggest that the center of the picture should be about 5-feet off the floor–a comfortable eye-level for most people.

If you are hanging several pictures at the same time, measure out where you want them to be before you start knocking holes in the wall. Use a marker to indicate where to drill. Use your level so that all the top of the pictures are at the same height or plan out a grouping that appeals to your sense of style.

Keep in mind that the hardware on the back of your frame that connects to the hook or anchor on the wall is not actually at the top of the picture. Adjust your height measurements accordingly.

When using two hangers to hold a single picture, use your level and measuring tape to mark where they will be so that your picture will hang flat, not crooked.

Once your spots are all marked, it is time to apply the adhesive strip following the package directions, bang in the hardwall hanger, or drill the hole for your wall anchors.

While finally hanging the picture on the hanger, get a friend or family member to look at the picture before you get off the ladder. They can help you to nudge it a bit to the left or right for that perfect picture appearance.

FAQ: How to Hang Your Art on a Concrete Wall

What are the most common types of anchors for hanging art on concrete?

Masonry wall anchors work with all sizes and weights of framed pictures, shelving, and display art. Hardwall hangers are fast and support up to 25 pounds. Adhesive strips are a good temporary option.

How much weight can I hang on a concrete wall?

A concrete wall is able to support up to 1,700 pounds per square inch when constructed according to industry standards. However, the hanger or anchor you use is the real determination of how heavy a picture you can hang. Read the specs on the package before installing your art.

Can I mount a flat-screen TV on a concrete wall?

Yes. Replace any wall anchors included in the wall-mount kit with masonry anchors rated to grab onto the concrete. Anchors designed for regular wallboard will rip out of a concrete wall.

Would silicone make a good adhesive for hanging a picture on concrete?

No. Silicone products designed to seal concrete will stick to the wall, but the silicone will not support any weight. Even if you get a piece of paper to stay in place, as the silicone dries out, the paper will fall off.

Is there a good adhesive for concrete?

Yes. Gorilla, 3M, Sakrete, and Loctite all produce quality concrete adhesive products. These products will allow you to stick paneling and tiles to concrete, but they are considered a permanent installation. It isn’t a great option for hanging a picture. 

Why do I need a masonry bit to drill into concrete walls?

If you use a regular drill bit designed for wood and plastic, it will likely become dull before you finish drilling the first hole for a wall anchor in your concrete basement. The masonry bit is engineered to crunch through concrete all day long.

Will freezing temperatures cause pictures hung on concrete to fall down?

Yes, if you used adhesive strips to hang the picture. That is because the adhesive loses its sticking power once it drops below 20F. The hardwall hangers and wall anchors are not likely to be affected by the temperature.

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